Friday, May 30, 2014

Life after Silk Road: how the darknet drugs market is booming

Buying drugs and weapons online is far easier since the closure of Silk Road in 2013, after a dozen new sites have taken its place

Mike Power
theguardian.com, Friday 30 May 2014 08.00 EDT

When the Silk Road website was busted in October 2013, the closure took out 13,648 different drug deals, according to research by US online safety group, Digital Citizens Alliance (pdf). Yet today, the dark web is teeming with dozens of new markets and thousands of new dealers serving a growing consumer base.

This week, a search of the revived Silk Road site, which has been back online since November 2013, showed 13,472 different drug deals. And according to a recent Reddit.com post, new darknet markets carry a total of 33,985 different drug deals – an almost threefold increase in darknet drug-dealing activity in just eight months.

As well as Silk Road, police forces worldwide must now add new sites, Agora, Evolution, Pandora, Blue Sky, Hydra, Cloud Nine, Andromeda, Outlaw, Pirate, BlackBank, Tor Bazaar, Cannabis Garden and Alpaca.

“Purchasing new and ‘old’ drugs via ‘darknets’ – underground, online networks permitting anonymous communication — represents a new challenge for law enforcement,” said the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in a statement on Wednesday.

(More here.)

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